The most recent spike in volatility in Cryptocurrency has been enough to keep even the most seasoned trader up at night. Now, Google decided to create new rules that will make it tougher to use their Google Ads for Crypto exchange and wallet companies, to advertise their products and services. A cryptocurrency wallet is an app that allows cryptocurrency users to store and retrieve their digital assets. When a user acquires cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoins, they can store it in a cryptocurrency wallet and then use funds to complete transactions.
Two Dates of Utmost Importance for Crypto Exchanges
There are two dates to be aware of if you are in the marketing departments of Coinbase, eToro, or Kraken, to name a few. The first date is July 8, 2021. This is the date that the new certification application form will go live providing the crypto exchanges and wallet companies an avenue to prove their eligibility.
The second and more important date is August 3, 2021. This is the deadline for Cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to meet the new Google requirements to get certified making them eligible to continue placing ads on the platform. On this date, Google revokes all old certificates and issues new updated certifications. If you fail to meet this deadline to get your updated exchange certification, your ads will get removed from Google.
So How Does the Crypto Exchange Become Compliant?
Compliance means adhering to three criteria:
- Be duly registered with:
- FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter, OR
- A Federal or state-chartered bank entity
- Comply with relevant legal requirements, including any local requirements, whether at a State or Federal level
- Ensure their ads and landing pages obey all Google Ads policies
All Cryptocurrency Ads are Not Allowed
Google has placed further restrictions on the ads allowed. “ICO pre-sales or public offerings, cryptocurrency loans, initial DEX offerings, token liquidity pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, unhosted wallets, unregulated Dapps, cryptocurrency trading signals, cryptocurrency investment advice, aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews” are some examples of ads that are not eligible.
Further, “Ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products” are also not allowed according to Google’s statement. “As a reminder, we expect all advertisers to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products,” Google concluded.
Not the First Time Google has Placed Restrictions on Crypto
In March 2018, Google disrupted this market when it banned crypto advertising from its search engine, following a move Facebook undertook earlier that year. Yet in September 2018, Google removed part of that strict policy, allowing crypto exchanges to become certified advertisers on the platform for the U.S. and Japanese markets. Elsewhere, critics have long accused Google of not adequately addressing crypto-related ad scams.
“This trend is really striking,” said Emma Fletcher, a program analyst with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It’s pretty alarming and concerning. So we definitely want to bring attention to this issue so that people can take steps to make sure that this doesn’t happen to them.”
The FTC reported it received nearly 7,000 scam reports in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, 12 times the number reported over the same period a year earlier. In fact, scammed investors have claimed a total of $80 million. The median amount consumers lost in the scams was $1,900. That is nearly 1,000% more in reported losses compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the FTC.
Is Google Doing Enough?
“There’s also a lot of high pressure to this market where people are like, ‘You’ve got to get in now. Don’t wait. Don’t question it,” advised Joe Rotunda, Director, enforcement division at the Texas State Securities Board. “But investors need to be on guard.”
In March 2021, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) listed cryptocurrency-related investment scams as a top investor threat. “Investigate before you invest,” explained Rotunda. Check out any investment offerings with your state securities regulator.
Cryptocurrency and electronic wallets are still in their infancy. It will take years to get laws that truly protect the public. Google is doing its best to keep up with the times, but the public and regulators can only look in the rearview mirror to see if they did enough.
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